How do i find the key

Posted on 2014-02-14
Last Modified: 2014-02-14
We have a wireless network setup with Vista computers.  It works well, however --- we have a couple of new computers that we would like to add to it.   However NO one remembers the password.   I have tried several things to find it.   Don't want to have to reset the router and start over  (13 machines and four printers).   I noticed on a friend machine,  Win7  (that he was able to select the (wireless connection,  properties, click the box to display the characters.  It works for his machine, but when I tried it five of the Vista machines ---  I received nothing or the systems just "hung up".  Is there another means to discover the key WITHOUT having to start over?????   Wifi router with computers setup
Question by:misterd
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Accepted Solution

Dan Craciun earned 500 total points
ID: 39860356

It saved my behind in more than one occasion...

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Expert Comment

by:Michael Machie
ID: 39860359
Unfortunately, no. If you do not remember the key and the connected laptops do not allow you to view the key in the wireless properties for that Wi-Fi, you are out of luck.

If it worked for a windows7 machine on your wi-fi then that is the key you are looking for - it is not separate for each machine.

You could check the bottom of the router and see if whomever configured the wi-fi put a sticker on the bottom with the key. You never know!

If it was easy to retrieve this info then people would get hacked a lot more.
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Expert Comment

ID: 39860555
Are the computers in a domain environment?

If so, log on to the computer locally with the local administrator account. You should then be able to view the key in wireless properties
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Expert Comment

ID: 39860714
In Network and Sharing Center, click Manage Wireless Networks
Right-click on your network name and choose Properties
Click the Copy this network profile to a USB flash drive link.
Follow the prompts... when it's done, look on the USB stick in the x:\SMRTNTKY\ folder (where x is the drive letter the USB key is assigned)...  open the WSETTING.WFC file in Notepad... the key should be between the networkKey XML tags... e.g.
		<networkKey xml:space="preserve">ThisIsMyWiFiPassPhrase</networkKey>

Open in new window

Or you could just insert the USB stick into the Windows device (vista or newer) you want to connect to the network and when the Autoplay dialog opens choose the Wireless Network Setup Wizard option. XP and older won't be able to work from that WFC file... it might *look* like it works in XP, but it won't select WPA2/AES encryption correctly.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39860902
It work like a charm.   Thank you so much

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